Introduction of American literature
Prof. Erik Thompson
Dream of America: latent dream
If you ever bought a lottery after have a good dream, and couldn’t win prize, you might have complex feeling to Sigmund Freud. Traditionally, our ancestor interpret a dream as a prophetic sign. But after Freud, our faintest hope which our good dreams being good luck for life was broken by him because of analysis of dream. Here is a good dream to analyze, called ‘Young Goodman Brown’. This whole story looks nothing but a bad dream, still we have chance to analyze it. Showing some symbols in the story, ‘Yong Goodman Brown’ may well be able to be interpreted as an American’s dream – not an American Dream. According to Freud, dream is door to our unconscious. We can’t see deep inside of our mind consciously. Thus we needs special approaching, dream. In this perspective, Brown’s physical journey to forest can be interpreted into psychological door. Salem, the solemn, rational and moral city, represents our conscious, which is one of mental area. Brown stays at sunset and morning when he shows himself in Salem. We can obviously see and show under the sunlight, as our conscious can also do so. In contrast, in forest, he stays in darkness. The forest is ‘darkened’ and ‘concealed’, like unconscious. By journeying the forest, he can explore area of unconscious. So, journey for forest is the journey for unconscious – dream. In ‘Young Goodman Brown’, each character also has its representing part of mind. First, Goodman Brown represents super ego. He is morally upright person, and devout puritan considering his crying "With heaven above and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil!" Whereas, evil communion represents Id, which storage of our instinct. In communion, there are many kinds of guilt which when human follow their instinct : ‘… how hoary-bearded elders of the church have whispered wanton words to the...
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